“On November 7, 2000, American voters went to the polls in what turned out to be one of the closest presidential contests in U.S. history — an election campaign during which there was a notable absence of serious discussion of the al Qaeda threat or terrorism. Election night became a 36-day legal fight. Until the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling on December 12 and Vice President Al Gore’s concession, no one knew whether Gore or his Republican opponent, Texas Governor George W. Bush, would become president in 2001.
“The dispute over the election and the 36-day delay cut in half the normal transition period. Given that a presidential election in the United States brings wholesale change in personnel, this loss of time hampered the new administration in identifying, recruiting, clearing, and obtaining Senate confirmation of key appointees,” according to section 6.4 in the 9/11 Commission Report.
On Nov. 3, 2020, the nation went back to the polls, and 20 years after the contentious 2000 election, we find ourselves in a new one. For all intents and purposes, Joe Biden is President-elect of the United States. To overcome this, President Donald Trump’s team must show enough widespread voter irregularities to cast doubt on the election. That does not mean the Trump campaign must simply show a lot of fraud. It means they must show enough improper votes were cast to erase the margin of victory between the President and President-elect; in addition, they must show that enough improper votes were cast to be equal to the number of votes not cast in the race.
At the time of writing, in Michigan, Biden leads Trump by 146,137 votes, and 37,706 people in Michigan refused to vote in the presidential race, even though they voted on Election Day. They left that line blank. That means the Trump campaign must show 183,843 fraudulent votes were cast. Then they must do the same in Pennsylvania, Georgia and any other state they want to contest.
Trump’s campaign team asserts that it has 234 pages of affidavits alleging voter fraud. In a review at the conservative outlet The Blaze, Leon Wolf wrote, “the 234 pages contain affidavits from 101 individuals. The majority of them appear to be handwritten impressions of the counting process.” Further, he writes, “The testimony contained in these affidavits clearly pertains to fewer than 1,000 total ballots.” That is not enough to throw out the election.
While this is going on, the current administration is denying the incoming administration national security briefings. Trump has every right to challenge the election results. The Electoral College does not convene until Dec. 14. There is time for this to play out. But the odds are slim that the election will be overturned. Every day this administration does not brief Biden is a day our national security is increasingly jeopardized.
Biden used to be chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He served as Vice President of the United States for eight years. He can keep a secret. Trump may pull a miracle out of a hat and preserve his presidency. But the odds are against him, and so long as he is not willing to at least aid in briefing the probable winner, the odds are against the nation’s security.
“During the long contest after election day, the CIA set up an office in Crawford to pass intelligence to Bush and some of his key advisers. (CIA Director George) Tenet, accompanied by his deputy director for operations, James Pavitt, briefed President-elect Bush at Blair House during the transition,” according to the same section of the 9/11 Commission Report.
The Clinton administration began providing briefings to President-elect George W. Bush while the contentious legal battles of the 2000 election were ongoing, just in case he really was the winner. The Trump administration is not currently doing that for Biden.
I understand Trump’s unwillingness to concede until every allegation is addressed in court. It is his right to pursue challenges. But the President owes the nation a national security transition that can catch what the chaotic transition of 2000 missed: evil stirring in the shadows.
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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Last Updated: Thursday, Nov 12, 2020 13:19:11 -0800